How virtual reality technology is changing the arts world
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Discovering new technology and how it can be implemented in new and creative ways is one of the most fulfilling moments, and important tasks that lie ahead of us, especially considering the speed with which technology is developing. That is what Ravensbourne are looking to do with their virtual reality festival, where creatives from all over the country come together to discuss and showcase innovate ways to implement the VR tech. The annual VRUK event came back for a second time this year, taking place over Thursday and Friday, 6th and 7th July. The event is designed to bring together technologists, artists and content creators to explore how virtual reality can be used to create state of the art creative projects that we’ve never seen before. Now we have to ask ourselves what can virtual reality be used for, besides the obvious perks in gaming and documentary-making. All of the projects presented at the festival were lovely, and as an aspiring journalist with an interest in future technologies, I particularly enjoyed WaterAid’s “Aftershock”, and the National Theatre’s “HOME│AMIR”. But what’s really interesting is how this technology, which will only be getting more and more commonplace, will affect and hopefully ameliorate already existing creative institutions.
NATIONAL THEATRETheatre in particular has always sought ways to enhance the theatrical experience, often using new technology in new and creative ways to do things that would otherwise be impossible. ‘Immersive storytelling studio’ was established in 2016, and since then, it has been experimenting with VR and 360 technologies to create content that is unique to this surfacing genre. In his talk, Toby Coffey, head of digital development at the National Theatre, said that when the Immersive Storytelling Studio was first established, they had to see where they are as an industry and re-evaluate what VR’s place would be in that industry.
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